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VA District judge rules against transgender student’s use of correct rest room

Gavin Grimm
Gavin Grimm photo Facebook

Gavin Grimm a Gloucester county transgender high school juniors life was thrown into disarray last year after a couple of parents complained about his use of the boys room.
Gavin had been using the boys room peacefully, in accordance with school policy, at the beginning of his sophomore year. But all that changed thanks to the interdiction of right-wing power broker Russ Multon.

Multon’s group strong-armed the school board into changing their transgender policy from acceptance to one that does not recognize the need for allowing transgender students equal access to public accommodations.

U.S. District Judge Robert G. Doumar, known for his right-wing advocacy from the bench, told Grimm that it was “Highly Unlikely” that he would grant the injunction early on and dismissed out of hand the U.S. Department of Justice “statement of interest” The Justice Department maintains that the district’s policy violates Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 because it discriminates on the basis of sex, which the department states includes gender identity and transgender status.

Unbelievably Doumar questioned whether denying Grimm his gender identity or allowing him to express it would be damaging to him physiologically. Judge Doumar obviously isn’t aware or even care that 16 transgender teens and young adults have committed suicide this year for exactly those reasons.

The Preliminary Injunction filed by the ACLU which would have allowed Grimm to continue to use the men’s room was denied by Doumar on Friday so when Gavin returns to school this Tuesday he will be forced to use either the single stall restroom or the girls room.

Grimm told WAVY.TV “I was disappointed that I would have to face another school year of discomfort and discrimination, but I’ve been in this battle for the long run. I’m just looking toward the future for what happens next.”

After the announcement of the ruling Friday, the ACLU released the following statement:

“We are deeply disappointed with the court’s decision and will appeal as quickly as possible to ensure that Gavin does not have to endure this harmful and stigmatizing policy a single day more than necessary,” said Joshua Block, senior staff attorney in the ACLU’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Project. “As a result of the decision, Gavin will have to start the school year under a demeaning and stigmatizing policy that relegates him to separate restrooms from his peers. We expect today’s decision to be reversed on appeal.”

Although the court refused to grant Gavin the injunction that would have let him use the boys’ restroom when school resumes, the court did not yet rule on whether to allow his claim under the Fourteenth Amendment to move forward.

The ACLU says it plans to appeal.

With permission from school administrators, Gavin used the boys’ restroom for almost two months at the beginning of his sophomore year without incident. But after receiving complaints from some parents and residents of Gloucester County, the school board adopted the new policy on December 9, 2014, by a vote of 6-1.

Kelli Busey
Kelli, Busey is managing editor at Planet Transgender



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